Good Dog – Part 2


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My scream bounced off the tin roof and filled the arena spooking horses. People looked around hoping someone could explain the sudden interruption. Mom and Indiana stuttered to stop.

“Oh my god!” Skittles lady covered her mouth and pointed in my direction. A chunk of nacho cheese dripped off her index finger.

“Lindsay!” A fellow rider waved her arms wildly in the air to signal Mom.

A crowd of people rushed over to me. What felt like a hundred hands lifted me from the crime scene, sidestepped to the nearest lawn chair, and laid me down.

“Go get some paper towels!”

I tried to sit up and look around.

“Oh no no no. I need you to lie down.” A pair of hands backed up this order.

Dad appeared from the chaos. The color in his face faded instantly. It was terror. “William, are you okay?”

I nodded my head. Shock had taken my voice.

“What happened?” Amazingly he remained calm as he pressed the wad of “sanitary” paper towels to the side of my face.

“That German shepherd bit him.” Somebody, probably the snack lady, answered for me. Right as she finished the explanation, Mom pushed through the huddled mass. Upon seeing her glorious angel of a child mutilated, she, too, screamed. Loud. Like Sally Field in Steel Magnolias. A few people tried to hold her steady, but she broke away and disappeared behind them.

Raising my head to see where she went, I discovered the reason for all the commotion. Blood is not something a small child should see. Especially their blood. Lots and lots of their blood.

“I’ll be okay, Daddy.”

Fuck I’m brave. Blinded in one eye, blood seeping into my mouth, a small amount of urine soaked into my Dungarees. Had it not been for Dad holding me down I’d have risen from the mesh recliner and sewed my wounds shut with bailing wire.

A couple minutes later Dad carried me out to the car with Natalie close behind.

“Keep this pressed against his head.” He told Natalie. “Lindsay let’s go!”

Mom jumped into the front seat of the car still wearing her black riding boots and smelling of saw dust. She whipped around to check on me. Bad idea. Her crying only frightened me more. Well, that and Dad’s driving. Not too many doctor offices in the middle of butt-fucking nowhere open on Saturdays. There was a lot of swerving and red light running. Still, somehow without the help of road maps, cell phones, Garmins, or Arabic gas station attendants, Dad managed to find the only clinic in the area.

He double parked directly in front of the office and carried me in like an EMT rolling a victim into an ER. The waiting room was full of families, parents and small children casually waiting their turn to see the good doctor. Fuck ‘em. Dad ignored the nurse behind the counter, used his foot to Van Damme the door open to the back, and stormed down the hallway to an empty exam room.

“Sir! Sir! You can’t go back there!” The desk nurse shouted. She hustled around to the hall Dad was storming down. “Excuse me, sir!”

Stupid stupid woman.

Dad stopped and spun around to reveal his son’s thrashed face.

“I’m a lawyer. You get the goddam doctor in here right now or I’ll sue you for failure to render emergency aid.” The threat had no legal standing whatsoever. Dad knew it. But the nurse didn’t.

I imagine Dad’s sudden burst of bravado turned Mom on a little. But that’s gross.

By now the shock of the attack had worn off, which really sucked because I could feel the torn skin on my face stinging. Natalie kept a hold of my hand to keep me calm. This had the reverse effect. She never held my hand. Older sisters aren’t prone to hugging, kissing, helping, or warning their younger brothers of danger. Her sadistic tendencies promote any activity wherein I should go first – tasting food, water slides, investigating dark hallways, testing rope swings over creeks, Russian roulette, pissing Mom off, etc. Her firm grip on my hand under the circumstances indicated a level of severity of which I needed to remain ignorant.

Enter the doctor.

“Holy Jesus! What happened to him?”

Superb bedside manner there, doc. Way to keep me sedate.

“Dog bite.” Mom said.

“Your dog?”

“Oh no. Somebody else’s.” Mom quickly defended Lassie’s, reputation.

“Do you know if the dog had rabies?”

Doctor, again with the alarmist questions!

“Uh, no. I doubt it. We know the owner.” Dad knew what rabies meant for me treatment-wise – a series of four inch, 26-gauge needles to the stomach. Dad learned crisis mitigation early on.

“Are you sure?” Said the moron.

“Can you just take care of him please? He’s lost a lot of blood.” Dad’s temper bordered on combative. You don’t get between a parent and their wounded child. The doctor never knew how close he came to receiving a roundhouse from Dad.

I did my best to lie still. Mom cajoled me with thoughts of toys I’d been wanting.

“Which one?”

“Voltron.”

“Which one’s that?”

“Mom, you know. The lions that connect to make the big robot.” (Reader, remember this description.)

“Oh, right. Yes.”

Liar.

But her methods worked. My mind drifted to into the realm of early 80’s anime . . . to Voltron! Defender of the Universe! Cue intro music, flashes of climactic fight scenes against the evil King Zarkon and his fuck-ugly witch, Haggar. Red Lion, go! Green Lion, go! Blue Lion, go! Yellow Lion – what the hell is that?!

A tray of sutures, gauze, scissors, knives, string, and NEEDLES floated in on Nurse Hatchet’s palm. This totally blue-balled my chances of visualizing a victorious battle on planet Arus. In fact, I think tears are appropriate right about . . . now.

Dr. Jekyll held up a syringe to the light as he poked the needle into the vile of

“Local anesthetic. This will numb the affected area so we can stitch him up.” He flicked the plastic tube to work out any air bubbles.

Mom and Dad instinctually moved to their stations. Mother at my head. Father pinned my arms down.

“Nunu, hold his legs.” Dad asked Natalie as calmly as possible. She immediately let go of my hand and shifted to my shoeless feet. It’d be the only time she’d go near my nasty feet voluntarily.

Doc’s head eclipsed the jaundice colored lamp above me. His clammy hand pressed against my cheek so I’d roll my head to the left.

“William, honey? I need you to look at me now. Look at Mommy, William.”

I find it a bit ironic that in order to prevent pain, one must first endure pain.

“This is going to sting juuuusssst a little.” He timed this fact with the first prick.

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a screamer. “Mommeeeeeeeeee!”

Not my finest moment. That shit hurt. Jackass stabbed me repeatedly with that damn needle.

“Voltron, William. Voltron. I’m gonna buy you a Voltron.” Mom tried.

You right, bitch! I best be getting a Voltron because this shit right here, this so called doctor mutha fucka, is fucking my shit up. (My inner voice is apparently a mixture of Dave Chapelle and Snoop Dog.)

“Just a few more, but I really need you to hold his head still. He’s squirming too much and I don’t want to stick him in the eye.”

I swear that doctor should have his license revoked for being an epic asshole. Of course I’m going to squirm! Children do that shit – especially when they’re being criminally assaulted by Kavorkian and his death wand.

Well, as you can imagine, I did not hold still. Fuck him. In fact, I gave it my all. I flexed every muscle at once in a final attempt to overpower those who restrained me.

Fail.

My surge of strength looked more like I was taking an incredible dump. My knees bent up to my chest, my arms curled slightly in with my fists balled, squinted my eyes harder, gritted my teeth, and unleashed this guttural roar. Definite poop-channeling behavior.

I pushed so hard that I halted all blood flow. Similar to pilot training in the air force, they are instructed to tighten everything so that all the blood in their head doesn’t suddenly get forced below the neckline during a G-force maneuver. Only, after I unclenched, I got dizzy. Dizzy turned into disorientation. Disorientation opened the door to exhaustion. My tiny neck muscles relaxed, allowing my head to roll where it was directed and drool seized the opportunity to drip from my quivering lips onto the crunchy white paper protecting the exam table.

After the last few numbing shots, the doctor left the room for a few minutes. Probably to polish off some Maker’s or stomp on a group of lemur babies he’d ordered from South America. Mom and Dad took the time to recover from their own shock allowing a few tears to be seen during an embrace. I can’t imagine what it must have been like for them to see me stunned and gashed, unable to help me now, and worse, unable to have prevented it. If you were to ask my Mom today what went through her mind during those harrowing hours, all her powers of speech would be replaced by angry pantomime. Unable to voice her feelings, she’d take to grabbing objects within proximity and hurling them at random. Or at you. Be ready to duck.

Meanwhile, my sister used the calm to catch up on some light reading. All doctor’s offices have a crappy magazine rack with eight month-old, crinkled magazines like Glamour, Cosmopolitan, retarded Highlights, and if you’re lucky, a Sports Illustrated (never the Swimsuit Issue, though.) Natalie rustled the pages of a Highlights looking for the word puzzle skipping directly passed the lame Christian-oriented comic strips.

Just as I rolled my head back upright toward the yellowed plastic ceiling lamp, the doctor returned . . . with a needle and thread. Mom, a nurse at Sottish Rite’s Children’s Hospital during those years, saw the seamstress and knew my acknowledgment of it would be less than cordial. She flung Dad into the plastic palm plant in the corner and bolted to my side.

“Tell me again about the Voltron, William,” she ordered. I think Mom had recently finished reading Of Mice and Men and thought it’d be wise to treat me like simple Lenny. But instead of useless rabbits, I spoke of molded steal and laser canons.

“Well, it’s bigger than Devastator . . . you know, the big green one made with construction trucks? Yeah, it’s got five lions.” I raised my right hand to enforce the number with my own digits. “Five.”

“Sir, could you please hold his hands down again.”

Dad, readjusting the beaten plant, hurried over and pinned me again.

“Now William? You’re going to feel me tugging on your eye a little, but don’t worry, you won’t feel any pain. But I need you to remain perfectly still. Okay?”

And how do you think the next twenty minutes and thirteen stitches went?

Exactly. George shot Lenny in the back of the head.

(TO BE CONTINUED . . . .)

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About Son

Unemployed, but trying.
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6 Responses to Good Dog – Part 2

  1. Hayley says:

    I read a lot of interesting posts here. Probably you spend a lot of time
    writing, i know how to save you a lot of time,
    there is an online tool that creates readable, google friendly
    posts in seconds, just type in google – laranitas free content source

  2. sherri moore says:

    And I call myself a writer?!
    Nicely done, young stepson.
    Hey, that rhymes!

  3. Wife says:

    This is crazy – who doesn’t look forward to being poked with a needle repeatedly?!?! Hellooooooo, all of my piercings were with big-ass needles, and can’t wait for the next set :)

    Although now that I think about it, SoS was there for the last one, and he didn’t look so hot afterwards.

  4. Howie Feltersnatch says:

    Far too few times these days can both Steel Magnolias and Van Damme be referenced in the same story- well done. I’m pretty sure lemurs come from Madagascar, but we’ll just assume that the illegal trade of said animal’s babies for the purpose of stomping by general practitioners in the US, runs through South America. What did become of this dog? Old Yeller ending for this mutt? Perhaps a dog with this startling a disposition should not be left unattended if it’s first instinct when approached by a child showing affection is to bite his face off. Also, I found that Voltron and it almost became your wedding present, but I didn’t see it on the registry and thought Ash might not let me visit again so I went with something I don’t even remember buying. Hope you’re enjoying it.

  5. Snow says:

    Sorry to tell you this, but the dog bite was your fault. Dogs feel threatened when they are hugged. And your parents should have been watching you. Totally on the dog’s side. I will not let the propaganda spread! Dog probably got put down because you felt like molesting it. Now you’re making it worse and spitting on his grave by writing him down as one of the most evil dogs in history. I hate humans.

    • Dog Jr says:

      Hi, long time reader, first time replier- love the blog. Sorry to tell YOU this but I am the son of the dog in this story and couldn’t disagree more. Dad felt horrible about this and wore this burden til his death. You humans think just because you have opposable thumbs and can walk upright you know what we’re thinking and feeling, ridiculous. Typical human over-analization in this case, some things really are black and white. Dad bit him, he was wrong. I hope this helps you in your recovery process and you can one day forgive him.

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